August 22, 2000

Yvette at Sunset (Long Island, New York)

The closing of my day working with Yvette took place on the other side of Long Island; while the sunrise had been on the beach on the southern side, the sunset, on a long sweep of rocky beach, took place on the north side.
6x9 cm film
By this time, both Yvette and I were feeling the toll of the day; we'd been up and working for more than fourteen hours and it was showing, both in the energy levels and poses. With the sun setting, and the evening growing cool, we looked upon the last images of the day as less a closing of a good day's work, than as a series of images we had to get through, to draw the day to a close. This is not to say they were rushed, or any less important than any of the earlier work, but given the cool temperatures, the rapidly diminishing light, and the amount of torture I had already put Yvette, taking it a little easy with the last light of the day was a forgivable compromise.

As with Dolphin Beach at the beginning of the day, Rocky Beach was just about featureless, as far as setting which evoked poses went. And, like the morning, the most distinct feature was the light, providing rich, delicate side lighting to work with. While a variety of other successful images were made, for the close of the work Yvette I've chosen three strongly related images, made within ten minutes of each other, showing the power of the image to change the mood and portrayal of a space and model.
4"x5" film
Each image works well with the evening light, taking advantage of its ability to describe form, and yet they also take advantage of different photographic formats, to accentuate various elements. The 4"x5" image, to the left, has a richness of detail to the hair and skin that draws the viewer into the chill light of the evening light, while the softly defocused beach grasses behind Yvette provide a suitable counterpoint to the fluid lines of her body. With the colour image, made on the 6x9 rangefinder, it is less the detail of her body, and more the colour of the light that surrounds her that builds the emotion of the image, conveying more a feeling of warmth than descending night. And the final image, made on infrared film, has such a wonderful sculptural feel to it, that it more than makes up for what it loses in image quality against the larger 4"x5" negative of the first photo.
35mm infrared film
Without a doubt, this day marks my most intense single day of photographic work to date. It was not without its technical glitches, and contained more than a few amusing moments, but overall, it was a great success, yielding a surprisingly high number of successes, compared to the amount of images exposed.

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